South African media group Junk Mail Media has already impressed international audiences with its innovative targeting. Now, the company will bring the concept to the AIM Group’s AutoBuzz Conference in London from 17 to 18 September.

Junk Mail’s group sales manager Tanya de Bruyn (LinkedIn profile) will join a host of international speakers who’ll share innovations and trends related to the auto classifieds industry over the two-day event.

CEO Felix Erken spoke at the International Classifieds Marketplace Association’s conference in Budapest recently where he and his team took home the third prize in the association’s Innovation Awards.

Their winning innovation is an audience targeting campaign that’s been rolled out for customers of Junk Mail’s AutoMart — South Africa’s No.3 auto vertical, in terms of traffic.

“The response has been phenomenal,” Erken told the AIM Group after his win. He wasn’t exaggerating. The company’s customers are reporting impressive results.

In a nutshell, Junk Mail uses its database to connect sellers with interested buyers.  It all starts with the fact that Junk Mail monitors the activity around every listing by assigning each with a unique code.

AutoMart then monitors these listings and which users are interacting with them. This means the site can visit a dealer and say: “We know that x amount of users are looking for a specific brand or vehicle. Do you want to let them know what you have available?”

Junk Mail then sends out a marketing SMS specifically targeted to customers who are already in the market for what the dealer has to offer.

A Mitsubishi dealership, for example, was able to sell 11 Pajeros in one week by targeting these specific customers. A Nissan dealership similarly sold 28 new vehicles in one week — a fair feat considering South Africa’s auto industry revolves around used cars.

The audience targeting campaign has applications beyond autos and is just as useful for other verticals. A farming client received more than 300 calls from prospective tenants after using the system.  A local auction house’s website almost crashed when more than 5,000 people clicked on the link sent to them via SMS.

De Bruyn will explain the intricacies of the advertising system and its possible applications when he speaks at AutoBuzz in September.

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